Learn to play guitar like one of the most influential musicians of the 1970s

You might recognize Wilko Johnson's  as Ser Ilyn Payne from Game of Thrones, but that role's small potatoes compared to his musical legacy. As the lead guitarist and song writer for the British pub rock band Dr. Feelgood, Johnson's choppy, percussive style of playing is considered to be one of the earliest influences of the early UK punk scene. When you listen to Joe Strummer hacking away with his axe in The 101ers, you're hearing Wilko.

In this brief video filmed back in 2012, Wilko demonstrates the ins and outs of the fierce, economic playing style that helped give rise to The Sex Pistols and The Clash. I've been a fan of the man for decades and, last week, was fortunate enough to spend a good chunk of time chatting with him. Look for my interview with Wilko to pop up on the site at some point in the near future.

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Pete Drake's beautiful pedal steel "talk box" tune from 1963, long before Peter Frampton showed us the way

In the early 1960s, pedal steel guitar virtuoso Pete Drake (1932-1988) played his instrument through a talk box to record a fresh cover of the song "Forever." A talk box essentially routes an amplified instrument's sound from a small speaker into the musician's mouth via a rubber tube so they can shape the tone as if they're speaking. (Of course in the rock arena, Peter Frampton made the talk box famous a decade later on tracks like "Do You Feel Like We Do.")

Interestingly, the talk box concept dates at least as far back as the late 1930s when Alvino Rey used a microphone on his throat to modulate the sound from his electric guitar. Rey called his approach the "singing guitar" and almost certainly inspired Drake's "talking steel guitar."

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Fantastic fingerstyle guitar cover of A-ha's "Take On Me"

Russian guitarist Alexandr Misko delivers another rousing fingerstyle guitar cover. This time, it's the turn of A-ha! Previously: George Michael's "Careless Whisper," The Cranberries' "Zombie," and so many more.

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Watch a half hour of fingerstyle guitar from inside the guitar

Alan Gogoll put a camera inside his guitar to record Stringscapes, a lovely set of short songs with a beautiful sunset vista visible outside the sound hole. Read the rest

Guitarist demonstrates beautiful tonal differences in "The Four Seasons" Guitars

Master luthier John Monteleone created a series of four archtop guitars, one for each season. Anthony Wilson of The Met shows how and why each sounds different than the others. Read the rest

Swedish country music cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide"

Jills veranda is a lovely Swedish music showcase filmed in Nashville. Here Swedish pop star Veronica Maggio joins host Jill Johnson for a cover of "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac. Read the rest

Cool Johnny Cash guitar trick with a playing card

In this short video, you'll learn how to achieve Johnny Cash's cool textured, rhythmic strumming sound with a playing card. Read the rest

Fender guitar factory video tour includes new axes made from Hollywood Bowl's old wood seats

LA Weekly did a nice piece on the new Front Row Legend Esquire guitars made of reclaimed wood benches from the Hollywood Bowl. They also toured Fender's Corona factory. Read the rest

Watch how Willie Nelson's half-century-old guitar gets repaired

Master luthier Mark Erlewine takes us through the fascinating process of repairing Trigger, the same guitar Willie Nelson has played for nearly 50 years. Read the rest

Fender custom shop re-uses Hollywood Bowl bench boards to make $12k guitars

$12k for a guitar made of the boards where people sat and listened to historic concerts.

What kind of pick-up does this fantastically expensive beauty come with? Best I can tell: Black. I hope it sounds really, really good.

This is especially the case with Fender's new, limited edition Front Row Legend Esquire line. Made in Fender's Custom Shop by Master Builder Yuriy Shishkov, these special Telecasters are built to order using 100–year–old Alaskan yellow cedar from the Hollywood Bowl's original bench boards.

Since its official opening in the summer of 1922, the Hollywood Bowl has spent almost 100 years hosting some of the biggest acts of every decade. Louis Armstrong, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, the Beach Boys, and Black Sabbath are just a smattering of the talent that has graced the Bowl's stage, and now, you can own a functional piece of its history.

Shishkov maintained the characteristics of each piece of bench board that he used, with all of its original scratches, cracks, and bolt holes. The top of each guitar will also feature the original seat number.

Via Reverb

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Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" as a spaghetti western theme

The Samurai Guitarist brings some Morricone to Michael.

(via Laughing Squid)

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Comfortably Numb on acoustic guitar

The Acoustician performs excellent acoustic, instrumental guitar covers of classic rock songs. See the solo training videos too.

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Wonderful guitar cover of Super Mario World music

Samuraiguitarist Steve Onotera created this fantastic cover of the Super Mario World music including sound effects made on his guitar. (via Laughing Squid)

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Badass cover of "Pipeline" on Hawaiian slack key guitar

Slack key legend Ledward Kaapana not only nails the Dick Dale surfing standard, but he even breaks into "Ghost Riders in the Sky" for good measure. Read the rest

See Dinosaur Jr.'s new music video

J. Mascis and his overdriven guitar return with the track "Tiny" from their album "Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not," due out August 5. Laurie Collier (Sherrybaby, Sunlight Jr.) directed this clip, starring Mascis's bulldog Buddy.

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"Here Comes The Sun" played verrrrry slowly, then sped up to the right tempo

Samuraigutarist recorded his cover of The Beatles' "Here Comes The Sun" at a very slow tempo that lengthened the song to around 30 minutes. Then he sped up the video and audio 20x. The result sounds like a lovely violin version of the song.

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A guitarist's guide to melodic improvising in any style

Improvising on guitar has long been a challenge of mine. Chord Tone Soloing by Brett Tagliarino has helped a lot!

I have played guitar for several decades, but I never really understood how a guitar worked. Chord Tone Soloing helps explain the music theory behind improvising solos. Adding riffs and melody lines to chords, becomes quite easy, as you work through quizzes and exercises.

The CD book of examples is easy to work with, and play along to. You'll need a good foundation in guitar skills, and chord building, but once you are past the basics, Tagliarino will give you the tools to start working on your own!

I still need a metronome to keep a beat.

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